97-Year-Old Twin Sisters Freeze To Death Outside Rhode Island Home

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BARRINGTON, R.I. — The family of 97-year-old twin sisters who died in freezing temperatures after falling outside one of their homes says the two lived with charm, grace, kindness and style.

Police say Jean Young Haley and Martha Young Williams died after they fell outside Haley's house in Barrington on Friday and became stranded in the frigid cold. A neighbour found them Saturday morning.

rhode island twin sisters
Jean Young Haley and Martha Young Williams. (Photo: AP handout via CP)

Overnight temperatures in the area dropped to as low as 11 degrees, with wind chills as low as minus 8.

Their family issued a statement Monday thanking people who have extended condolences and recalling the pair as an inspiration with a great passion for life.

Police have said it appears Williams fell in the driveway, and Haley fell as she tried to go call for help.

The sisters frequented Eats Restaurant in Seekonk, Massachusetts, several times a week, owner George Mihailides recalled Monday.

"They were extraordinary. A real class act."

Mihailides said seeing the sisters always made him smile. He often asked them about the secret to a long life and he thinks their upbeat attitude was key.

"They were extraordinary," he said. "A real class act."

One of Haley's longtime neighbours also described her as upbeat and said she always looked forward to dinner dates with family and friends. Haley lived along the Providence River waterfront in Barrington for more than 60 years.

The twins had returned to Haley's home from dinner Friday night with their 89-year-old sister. The younger sister left the twins at some point before they fell, police said.